Plato was a philosopher and mathematician who changed the way philosophy was perceived and practiced in the Western world. He abandoned political power in the oligarchy to seek out virtue. Influenced by Socrates, Plato wrote some of the most enduring pieces of philosophical literature, which have had noted influences on every subsequent culture that read them. He founded the Academy and taught Aristotle, who also shaped Western thought and behavior.Know More
Prior to Plato, the word "philosophy" meant the "love of wisdom" and was practiced by many people with little to no application of cohesive methodologies. These people are called pre-Socratic philosophers or Sophists. Sophists viewed philosophy as a trade that could be marketed and sold. The concept of philosophy and philosophical study in which strict logical methods are used to systematically and critically examine issues originated with Plato and his dialogues. He made extensive use of informal logic, searching for fallacies and inconsistencies in arguments, and he was one of the first thinkers to apply mathematical logic. His student Aristotle further developed these processes into informal logic, which laid the groundwork for future scientific thought a thousand years later.
Plato lived in the Ancient Greek city-state of Athens. He eventually met Socrates, who became one of Plato's greatest influences. He often used Socrates as the main character in many of his dialogues, in which Plato sought out the answers to political, social, epistemological, metaphysical and ethical issues through a dialectical discourse between characters. Works considered his most influential include "Apology," "Republic," "Symposium" and "Timaeus," among many more.Learn more about Philosophy
Plato and Aristotle are similar in that they both contemplated man's existence in the world and the significance of that existence. They both tried to understand what it means to be aware of one's existence and how that existence is related to that of others.Full Answer >
Determining the philosopher you most closely resemble requires examining some of your views about the world and those of some historical philosophers. This can be accomplished by answering some key ethical, metaphysical and epistemological questions.Full Answer >
Although often remembered best for the quotation "I think, therefore I am," the philosopher and mathematician, Rene Descartes, also developed the Cartesian coordinate system, made significant contributions to the field of optics and devised a mechanistic model of physics. In addition to being considered the father of modern philosophy, based primarily on his breaking away from the previously adhered-to Scholastic-Aristotelian tradition, Descartes is also viewed as one of the major figures in the scientific revolution that was taking place in the 17th century. One of his most ambitious undertakings was the development of a systematic theory of deduction and knowledge based on methodological skepticism that eventually grew into 17th-century European rationalism.Full Answer >
Plato is celebrated as one of the most significant early Greek philosophers. His theories of form, ethics and politics, in particular, have proven enormously influential in both Western and Islamic traditions. Some, such as Alfred North Whitehead, have even considered all subsequent Western thought as simply a "footnote" to Plato.Full Answer >